Washington DC, November 15, 2022 (PPI-OT):“Pakistani diaspora in the United States a national asset and equal partner in Pakistan’s socio-economic development”. Ambassador Masood Khan said while addressing prominent members of Pakistani American community on his first official visit to Los Angeles. The event was organized by Council of Pakistan, a non-profit community organization promoting interests of Pakistan and Pakistani Americans in the U.S.
Ambassador Masood Khan lauded the exceptional achievements of the Pakistani Americans in the U.S., particularly in the State of California. He said that they have made both Pakistan and the U.S. proud with their innovative and entrepreneurial spirit and acted as a strong bridge between the two countries. Even if everything else fails, he added, this bond would not.
The Ambassador noted that recently there had been positive developments in Pakistan-U.S. relations and the leadership of the two countries had decided to collaborate more closely in the economic realm encompassing trade, investment, alternate energy, health, agriculture and tech industry.
He underscored that the momentum in the bilateral relations provided a window of opportunity to investors to strengthen economic partnerships between the two countries. In this regard, he added, diaspora could play an important role by scaling up their businesses in Pakistan.
He also urged them to play their role in increasing exports of IT products and services from Pakistan to the U.S. He noted that despite odds, trade volume between the two countries was growing as Pakistan’s exports to the U.S. jumped from US$ 7 to 9 billion last year.
Ambassador Khan also commended the active role of the Pakistani community in recently concluded congressional election in which they supported candidates from both sides and one of the prominent Pakistanis for the first-time contested elections for the U.S. House of Representatives from a key district of California.
He also thanked the community members for providing $ 4.7 million for Covid vaccines to Pakistan and contributing to flood relief efforts by donating US$ 1.5 million, out of which $ 1 million had already been remitted to Pakistan.
The Ambassador also underlined the high priority attached by the Government of Pakistan to the welfare of the overseas Pakistanis. He said that the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington D.C. and its four Consulates in Los Angeles, New York, Houston and Chicago remain committed to provide assistance to the Pakistani community in the U.S.
Leadership of the Council of Pakistan, including Chairperson Nighat Sarwat and Chairman Dr. Adnan Khan said that the organization was working to build strong relations between Pakistan and the U.S. They also briefed on various initiatives taken by the Council bring investment into Pakistan.
Later, Ambassador Masood Khan interacted with a group of influential Pakistani American businessmen and entrepreneurs at a dinner hosted by Mr. Shoaib Kothawala, CEO Home Tex Packaging. The Ambassador highlighted the steps taken by the Government to improve business and investment climate in Pakistan, including liberalization of regulatory regimes, streamlining taxation and facilitating repatriation of funds.
He noted that last year the US direct investment in Pakistan was 257 million of FDI in Pakistan, while US$ 203 million in profits had been repatriated. Around 80 American enterprises were successfully doing business in Pakistan and paying over US$ 1 billion in taxes. He said that Pakistan, despite some challenges, was emerging as an economic hub in the region.
Pakistani Americans could play an important role in building confidence in Pakistan’s economy by investing in key areas including IT, alternative energy, and agriculture, manufacturing and healthcare. The Ambassador also urged them to further strengthen Pakistan-U.S. relations by working closely with the U.S. Administration, Congress and think tanks.
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